11 August 2017 - Current Affairs

Facebook Launches Youtube Competitor Called ‘Watch’

  • In an apparent bid to take on Google-owned YouTube, Facebook has rolled out 'Watch', a redesigned video platform for creators and publishers.
  • Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. It is personalized to one in discovering new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching.
  • Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is a co-founder of Facebook, and currently operates as its chairman and chief executive officer.

Venkaiah Naidu sworn in as Vice President of India

  • Today, former Union Minister ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu (68-year) has sworn in as the Vice President of India.
  • He has been administered the oath of office and secrecy by President ‘Ram Nath Kovind’ at a special function in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Earlier, Naidu was elected as the Vice President by defeating opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi's grandson).
  • The Vice-President of India is elected by an electoral college consisting of Elected and nominated members of both houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) of Parliament.
  • The Vice-President holds office for a term of 5 years.
  • Naidu was born at Chavatapalem, in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • He pursued his bachelor's degree in politics and diplomatic studies from V. R. College.
  • Naidu acquired a bachelor's degree in law with a specialisation in international law from Andhra University College of Law, Visakhapatnam.

NGT bans use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in Delhi

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed an interim ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in the entire Delhi.
  • An environment compensation of Rs. 5,000 on anyone found in possession of such banned plastic.
  • The tribunal directed Delhi government to seize the entire stock of plastic within one week.
  • Earlier, the green panel had banned the use of disposable plastic in Delhi and NCR with effect from 1st January 2017.
  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established in 2010 by the National Green Tribunal Act.
  • It was set up to handle cases and speed up proceedings of cases related to environmental issues.

Industrial Parks approved in Andhra Pradesh

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved two projects for the development of industrial clusters at Hindupur (Ananatapur) and Bobbili (Vizianagaram) in Andhra Pradesh, under ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)’.
  • The objective of the above projects is to provide quality and reliable infrastructure to industrial units located in these clusters.
  • These projects have employment potential of about 5500 persons (direct) and 8500 persons (indirect).

Rajya Sabha passes Banking Regulation Bill

  • Parliament has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with the Rajya Sabha approving it, the Lok Sabha has already passed it.
  • Now, the wilful defaulters will not be spared and prosecutions are being launched against them.
  • The Non-Performing Assets (NPA) in the banks stand at 6.41 lakh crore in the public-sector banks while total stressed assets are at 8.02 lakh crore.
  • The bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets of banks.
  • The bill will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 which was promulgated on 4th of May this year.
  • The legislation will enable the Central government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process. 

NSDC & Google India to launch mobile app development program

  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Google India has launched the Android Skill Development Programme to impart mobile app development training on the Android and Web platform.
  • It will also improve the quality of mobile app development ecosystem in India.
  • Now, NSDC would introduce a specific course to create applications for the mobile platform that can be used on smart phones and tablets running on the Android operating system.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft set to begin its final five ultra-close orbits around Saturn

  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to begin its final five ultra-close orbits around Saturn, before the probe plunges into the atmosphere of the ringed planet and ends its epic 20-year-long journey.
  • The spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, making the first of the five passes over Saturn.
  • The spacecraft's point of closest approach to Saturn during these passes will be between about 1,630 and 1,710 kilometres above Saturn's cloud tops.

India ranks 43rd in 2017 Global Retirement Index

  • India has ranked last at 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI) published by French asset management company Natixis Global.
  • The Global Retirement Index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors, which are the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being), access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances), access to quality health services (Health), and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life).
  • Top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland.

Sri Lankan Navy commissions India-built AOPV

  • The Sri Lankan Navy has commissioned an India-built state-of-the-art Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) to boost its search and rescue capabilities.
  • The new patrol vessel is named as “SLNS Sayurala”.
  • It is the largest vessel built by an Indian ship builder for a foreign navy to date.
  • Built at the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) in India.
Note: It is expected to conduct patrols, policing, surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and pollution control missions in Sri Lanka’s maritime zones.

India & US to co-host Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Hyderabad

  • India and US will co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Hyderabad from 28th to 30th November this year.
  • The Summit is a unique opportunity for bringing together entrepreneurs and start-ups with global leaders.
  • Mr. Modi during his meeting with Trump in Washington in June had invited Ivanka (US President Donald Trump’s daughter) for the Summit.

e-Shakti initiative of NABARD

  • e-Shakti is a pilot project of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for digitization of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • It was initiated to address certain concerns like improving the quality of book keeping of SHGs and to enable banks to take informed credit decisions about the group through a Management Information System (MIS).

Veteran poet Vijay Nambisan passes away

  • Veteran poet and writer Vijay Nambisan (54-year) passed away due to illness.
  • In 1988, he became the first All India Poetry Champion for his poem 'Madras Central' organized by the Poetry Society of India and the British Council.
  • He also translated works of devotional poetry of Poonthanam and Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri.

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